Financial services companies are the most likely to be targeted for privacy requests following the introduction General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) next month.
A survey of 3,000 adults commissioned by Veritas Technologies has found that two-fifths of UK consumers intend to take advantage of their privacy rights within six months of the new regulation coming into force.
Insurance firms and banks are among those set to be inundated with requests for personal information, with 56% of the respondents citing financial services companies as likely to be targeted.
This was higher than for any other industry, including social media, which was cited by 48%, despite a recent Facebook scandal attracting a frenzy of media attention.
“In light of recent events surrounding the use of personal data by social media, consumers are taking much more of an interest in how their data is used and stored,” Veritas executive vice president, Mike Palmer, said.
“With a flood of personal data requests coming their way in the months ahead, businesses must retain the trust of consumers by demonstrating they have comprehensive data governance strategies in place.”
GDPR takes effect on 25 May and will impact any organisation that gathers, processes or stores the personal data of individuals in the EU, with citizens given the right to have their information deleted.
Breaches can hit institutions with fines of up to 2% of their previous year’s global annual revenues for a first offence, and 4% for repeat offences, while criminal penalties are also possible.
Of the consumers that plan to exercise their rights, two-thirds intend to request access to personal data, while 71% want to exercise their right to be forgotten under the new regulations.
Some of the key drivers behind this were found to be a desire for more control over data, a clearer understanding of what companies hold on them, and a lack of trust in those businesses.
The findings also show that 79% do not believe organisations will be able to find, or will delete, all the information they have on them, while one-fifth think businesses will only reveal half the data they hold.
“It’s imperative that businesses embrace technology that can help them respond to these requests quickly, with a high degree of accuracy,” Palmer continued.
“Businesses that fail to recognise the importance of responding effectively and efficiently to personal data requests will be putting their brand loyalty and reputation at stake.”
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